The devastating fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in April has many people talking about fire safety. Following that historic loss, you might be wondering: What happens if there's a big fire at my commercial building? That's a great question and fortunately, modern building materials are a lot more fire resistant than the 900-year-old timber used to construct Notre Dame. Commercial buildings are a lot less likely to sustain catastrophic damages.
Commercial building fires that result in building demolition are less common these days because of higher-quality materials and stronger preventative methods and technology. Structures that are totally destroyed tend to be buildings that were storing flammable or explosive materials. A lot of the damage from fires tends to be from smoke, water pumped by the fire department to stop the blaze, and mold that can result from water inside the structure. The process after a big fire usually follows steps like these: Investigation, Mitigation OR Demolition, and then Restoration.
Fire investigators and insurance companies have become very good at determining the cause and source of fires, so this first step in the process will likely happen very quickly. A determination will then be made to either condemn the structure or move on to mitigation (reducing further damage). Once the owner is given the go-ahead from the proper authorities, the mitigation process can begin.
Fire mitigation contractors exist for the express purpose of preserving as much of a structure as possible after a fire. They'll take short-term actions like boarding up the spaces where the windows used to be, tarping off any roof sections that are missing, and pumping water out of the building. They'll also handle the cleanup as far as removing destroyed or burned merchandise and materials from inside the building. After mitigation takes place, the rebuild can start as soon as the details are worked out with the insurance company, any necessary permitting to rebuild, and the restoration contractors.
The PVC roofing membranes that Royalty Roofing installs on commercial buildings are inherently fire-resistant due to the chemistry of the materials. These types of roofs help prevent fires from spreading quickly, which gives the fire department a better chance of putting out a fire and preserving more of your property. If you want a fire-resistant roof for your commercial structure, you really can't go wrong with a PVC membrane. If you need a roof restored after a fire, or if you're ready to upgrade your roof as an added "insurance policy" against fire, give us a call.